Six people have been busted for their alleged role in an elaborate, multi-million-dollar dating site scam — after they helped launder some $3.5 million fleeced from vulnerable, lovesick targets online, prosecutors in Manhattan federal court charged Wednesday.
The suspects, three of whom were arrested at Newark Airport Tuesday night, were all charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering for the years-long operation and will face 20 years in prison, prosecutors announced in a complaint.
The crew allegedly put the money, swindled from would-be lovebirds on several unidentified dating sites, into shell accounts — including $1 million from a single victim.
According to the complaint, conspirators of the accused money launderers — who were not named in the complaint — used the photo of a male model and several false monikers all with the surname “Francisco” to meet marks online.
The scammers then told their lovelorn victims a spiel about how they needed cash, the complaint states.